Photo courtesy of Charles Slate, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach













2014 Summer Sailing Camp Registration for ages 8-14

Registration is open to all, first come, first served. The SCMM member fee is $180. Non-member fee is $200. Registration fee includes a coursebook, US Sailing’s “Learn Sailing Right: Beginning Sailing”, and a skills logbook. Download registration form for more details. 

The sailing camp will take place at the SC Maritime Museum and sailboats will put in at the City docks beside the museum. There will be up to 8 campers per session. Fred Hoelscher, a certified US Sailing Small Boat Level 1 Sailing Instructor, will head up this year’s instructional team. The team includes experienced and lifelong sailors Dave Lowe, Mary McAlister and Lee Talbot. 

Our young sailor’s will learn to sail Optimist Prams, a sailboat that was designed especially for kids under 16 years of age. The Optimist is safe and simple enough for an 8-year old, and exciting and technically challenging enough for a 15-year old.

 ”The simplicity of the rig allows the skipper to concentrate on what’s really important in learning to sail–wind direction, puffs, shifts, waves, etc.” Steve Sherman, McLaughlin Boatworks. 

Read this excellent article: “Why Choose the Optimist”, by Steve Sherman of McLaughlin Boatworks. 


DOWNLOAD: Sailing Camp Registration Form (PDF) Updated Feb26



2014 CAMP SESSIONS: Updated Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.  

Several sessions are full. Please let us know if you would like to be put on a waiting list. 


June 2-6         2 pm –  5 pm    Instructor Dave Lowe 4 campers

June 9-13       9 am – 12 pm   Instructor Dave Lowe  FULL 
June 9-13       2 pm –  5 pm    Instructor Dave Lowe  FULL

June 16-20     9 am – 12 pm   Instructor Fred Hoelscher / Dave Lowe  FULL 
June 16-20     2 pm –  5 pm    Instructor Fred Hoelscher / Dave Lowe  FULL

June 23-27     9 am – 12 pm   Instructor Fred Hoelscher / Dave Lowe  FULL
June 23-27     2 pm –  5 pm    Instructor Fred Hoelscher / Dave Lowe  FULL 


June 30-July 4   9 am – 12 pm  Instructor Fred Hoelscher / Dave Lowe  FULL
June 30-July 4   2 pm –  5 pm  CLOSED for the 4th of July holiday

July 7-11        9 am – 12 pm  Instructor Fred Hoelscher FULL
July 7-11        2 pm –  5 pm   Instructor Fred Hoelscher  FULL

July 14-18      9 am – 12 pm  Instructor Dave Lowe  FULL
July 14-18      2 pm –  5 pm   Instructor Dave Lowe  FULL

July 21-25      9 am – 12 pm  Instructor Dave Lowe  FULL
July 21-25      2 pm –  5 pm   Instructor Dave Lowe  FULL

July 28-Aug 1   9 am – 12 pm  Instructor Fred Hoelscher  FULL
July 28-Aug 1   2 pm –  5 pm   Instructor Fred Hoelscher  FULL


What Types Of Boats Will Be Used In The Program?

Our young sailors will learn how to sail Optimist Prams. The Optimist Pram is “quite simply the boat in which the young people of the world learn to sail”. To learn more visit: The International Optimist Dinghy Association . 

About 50 years ago, Clark Mills, a well-known boat designer in Florida, was asked by the Optimist Club of Clearwater, Florida to design a small, extremely stable sailboat—one that would be easy to construct and safe for teaching young people between the ages of 8 and 15 to sail. The resulting boat, known as the Optimist Pram, proved to be ideal for young sailors.

The SC Youth Sailing Program has a fleet of 12 wooden Optimist Prams built by volunteers. 


Why Is The Optimist Pram Ideal For Kids?

  • The Optimist Pram was designed especially for kids under 16 years of age. The simplicity of it’s design makes it an ideal sailing school boat.
  • The Optimist is safe and stable. Kids like the the Opti because they feel like it won’t tip over. 
  • The Optimist is easy to handle by one sailor. Single-handed is the best way to learn how to sail. Think about it. You didn’t learn how to ride a bike on a tandem.
  • The Optimist is safe and simple enough for an 8-year old, and exciting and technically challenging enough for a 15-year old.
  • Over 85% of the sailing medal winners in the last Olympics were former Optimist sailors.
  • The Optimist is the largest and fastest growing dinghy class in the world – over 350,000 kids in more than 110 countries sail Optis. 


“You could say that the International Optimist Dinghy is the most important sailboat in the world in terms of the number of people it introduces to sailing. In its overall length, the Optimist is the smallest boat in the US Sailing Hall of Fame. By another measure, it is the largest: No other boat has brought more new sailors into the world than the Optimist Dinghy.” Bill Schanen, Editor SAILING Magazine    


What Will Campers Learn?

On the first day of camp each student will receive US Sailing’s “Learn Sailing Right: Beginning Sailing” course book and a skills logbook. The 2014 SC Youth Sailing Camp will be fun while focusing on safety and learning the following skills:

      • Preparing to Sail
      • Sailing Terms
      • Knot tying
      • Rigging/Unrigging
      • Determining wind direction
      • Points of sail
      • Getting underway
      • Starting and Stopping
      • Tacking and Jibing
      • Rules of the road



The Winner's Guide to Optimist Sailing

If your child would like to learn more about Optimist Sailing to prepare for this summer’s camp:

The book we used last year, “The Winner’s Guide to Optimist Sailing”, by Gary Jobson and Jay Kehoe is on sale at the SC Maritime Museum for $11 and can be shipped for an additional $4. Purchase at the museum or call Melissa at 843-520-0111 to ship. This book has great illustrations and photos and is easy to read.






The 2014 Youth Sailing Camp is shaping up to begin June 2, 2014 and we find that we need some things:

(1)  a rigid inflatable dinghy to use as instructor/chase boat, 8-9 ft.,
with small outboard (this could be a good deal or a donation to
the program)

(2)  some pieces of indoor/outdoor carpet to be used as retrieval
pads for the Optis, which have to be pulled out each day
(3)  a Sunfish sailboat, which can be loaned to us for the season, to
match the one that we have use of

(4)  a boarding ladder to use at the dock, as it is too high off the
water for the kids to get up

Any help or direction in finding these items will be appreciated by all in the program!

Youth Sailing Camp for Ages 8-14

Member of US Sailing

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Sponsors and Donors


Sharon E. Alfonsi

Coastal Eye Group

Coastal Wire Co.

Matthew D. Erby

Barry & Eugenia Frank

Willie French &
Nathalie Matthews

Harbor Specialties

Independent Seafood

John & Mary Lou Kenny

Dr. Timothy J. Pence, DMD

River Room Restaurant

Seven Rivers Aviation

Ged & Angela Tiller


Suzi & Nelson Durant
Palmetto Props, LLC

Rod Swaim
Dunes Realty

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